Definition of compulsion in English:


Syllabification: com·pul·sion
Pronunciation: /kəmˈpəlSHən


  • 1The action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint: the payment was made under compulsion
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    • Parliament has since amended the law, in the light of that judgment, to make evidence obtained under compulsion inadmissible.
    • If at all they had called her, it had been under compulsion from either the film directors or the producers.
    • The property is not seized, but has to be handed over under compulsion, with refusal generally constituting contempt.
  • 2An irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes: he felt a compulsion to babble on about what had happened
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    • Assessments were made using the BDI, and clinician rated obsessions and compulsions for each individual patient.
    • The value of the SSRIs to treat the obsessions and compulsions associated with TS remains to be resolved.
    • They can sometimes recognize that their obsessions and compulsions are unrealistic.
    urge, impulse, need, desire, drive; obsession, fixation, addiction; temptation


late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin compulsio(n-), from compellere 'to drive, force' (see compel).

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